There was a threat of rain in the skies but riding was clear for a while, then torrential rain began to fall. But soon we were through the storm where sunshine prevailed until the last 156 miles. The final leg of our journey took us across the Alpine Mountain Range, almost 5,000 feet, to experience freezing rain.
Our riders, Pastor Wes Alvarez, Pastor Kevin McBride, Rodney McCray, Pastor Mark Richardson and Jude Rodriquez (this was his first long ride, HE DID IT), pushed through “the wall” (pushing yourself beyond the natural limits) to complete the ride in 44 hours and 51 minutes! There is no way of communicating the endurance it took to make it happen. Bishop Doug Beacham rode on the motorcycle behind me for one leg of the journey, drove the pickup and even helped change a couple of tires on the trailer. A Presiding Bishop, General Superintendent with a International Church to lead that took time and put his body through a hard day for the cause, is to be commended. While it is not customary for a man to carry a man on a motorcycle, it was an honor to have our Bishop behind me, knowing the encouragement and honor it was to our team to have him with us. I will let him speak for himself on the experience.
There were people meeting us at all but five of our stops to cheer us on, provide coffee, donate money and diapers.
• Pastor Steve and Yvonne Dow
• My Father’s Vineyard (served us lunch)
• Bishop Mike Gray, along with pastors
• Al Bethea
• Joe Collins
• Todd Erskine
• Rick Fountain
• Clayton McCormick
• Landon Willis
• Bishop Gordon Atwell
• Rev. Joe & Jennifer Connors
• Pastors Jerry and Donna Williams
• Rev. Travis Evins
• Bishop Scott Hampton and folks from two GPC Churches
• Pastor Hector and Maria Chavez from El Paso and
• Danny and Glenda Stewart and Rev Stephen Walker from Christian Heritage in Amarillo, TX
• Representatives from Rev. Demetrius Miles in Tucson, AZ’s church and Rev Bill Hepfner in Mesa, AZ’s church
• The last leg from Yuma AZ to San Diego, representatives from M25 ministries in Southern California, led by Jerry Plent met us, fed us and rode with us across the mountain.
• When we arrived at our hotel around 3 am on Wednesday, we were welcomed by Bishop Tom Murray and two of his pastors, Rev. Bill Kenedy and Rev. Billy Wood (also Pointman for M25).
• They paid for our rooms!
• They collected over 7,500 diapers
• The celebration meal at noon on Wednesday was furnished by “Way Of Life Church” with Pastor Bruce Balcombe. A good breakfast was enjoyed as our first meal in three days.
To top this all off, our Run For The Wall family met us at several stops from Louisiana to Arizona! It was so good seeing folks along the way, for them to bring the diapers, fill our tanks with fuel, clean our windshields, ride with us for a while and make donations. I regret I did not get all their names written down, that will change next year.
We will ride in the Harvest Train, November 24, 2015 in Falcon, NC and present almost $6,000 in cash and over 30,000 diapers (estimated value over $10,000) to Jonathan Hill, director of Royal Home Ministries. We would welcome all riders to join us that can make it (bring lots of candy to give to the kids during the parade.